4 ways universities are reinventing the study “abroad” experience

Successful institutions share their best practices when using technology to provide international experiences.

international-abroad-studentsAccording to a recent report from the American Council on Education (ACE), fewer than 10 percent of U.S. undergraduates currently participate in study abroad programs. But some innovative colleges and universities are aiming to change their participation rates by making the experience more accessible.

The reason why there are more than 90 percent of college students who never study abroad are numerous, claims ACE’s “Quick Hit” report. Reasons include cost, poor planning, fear, and lack of information, but also include limits places on course requirements by the student’s institution.

That’s why one of the core beliefs of ACE’s Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement (CIGE) is effective internationalization requires a “comprehensive institutional commitment delivered through the curriculum, research, faculty development, and active strategies for institutional engagement.”

It’s in this spirit of comprehensive strategizing that a handful of colleges and universities are developing unique approaches to broadening students’ access to an international experience, with many of these program specifically targeting low-income, first-generation students.

(Next page: 4 best practices in providing a successful tech-enhanced abroad experience)